Monday, March 29, 2010

How Do You Like Them Apples?

As I'd mentioned before, we wanted to get new apple trees this spring. I ordered some from Miller Nurseries on the recommendation by Lisa at Get In the Garden. Lisa lives near the nursery and buys many things from them, so I took her at her word. The trees arrived on Friday.

We didn't have time to plant the trees the day they came, so on Friday evening, I put them in a bucket of water to soak the roots. We wanted to get them in the ground before the rain that was forecast for the next day.

The existing 'Red Delicious' tree will be taken down, due to its fungus rot and the fact that its apple production has been way down in recent years. It's been in the ground here for nearly 33 years, so it's pretty well lived its life expectancy.  The other apple tree was lost to rot earlier last year, so it was definitely time for new trees.

We'd had plenty of rain, so we knew the ground was going to be a bit muddy, but it was workable. 

 Romie had his trusty sidekick, Jack, there to help.

We followed the directions that were sent with the trees, digging the hole so that the graft was just above ground level and giving the roots four inches beyond their roots for wiggle room.  We mounded the soil in the middle, put the tree in the hole, spread the roots out, then started to backfill. 

 "Black Gold"

We mixed some of our luscious dark compost into the soil at the rate of one-third compost to two-thirds soil. We tamped down the soil to rid it of air pockets and watered them in.

I really wanted to plant some 'Honey Crisp' apple trees, since I discovered how truly delicious they are last fall, so we planted two of those. They need a pollinator so we chose 'Gala' for one of them, since we also like those.  We got an 'IdaRed' because I remember as a teenager that some orchard owners we knew were partial to those for eating.

Now that these are planted, all that's left is for us to take down the old apple tree. I hate to see it go, since it's been here as long as we have and it's really a nice looking tree. But we'll have four nice-looking trees in a few years with some delicious apples, too!


Rebecca said...

Is the tree in danger of falling? It has a beautiful shape. Why not enjoy it's shade until Mother Nature takes it to heaven?

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Hope your apple trees give you many years of yummy apples and lovely spring blooms.

Kara said...

I love your compost area. That's heaven! Black gold, indeed.

Unknown said...

Yay for new apples!!! Will the old Red shade the newcomers out too much this year already? If not, I'd be tempted to leave it for a few years, until the others start to produce... but then, I'm admittedly greedy. :)

chickdigthedirt said...

so jealous! I love honey crisp apples... my favorite in the world!

Kylee Baumle said...

Rebecca ~ No, it's not going to fall, but we feel that it will be too shady with it there, plus it will unnecessarily take water and nutrients that the other four trees need. (We think, anyway!)

Janet ~ We hope so. We are anxious for them to grow so they'll start producing.

Kara ~ I know! I was so thrilled to dig in there and see that!

Kim ~ We may have been able to keep the apple tree this year, but we just felt it would take things from the four new ones.

chickdigthedirt ~ They're my favorites, too! It will be awhile before we have apples, though.

Kristi said...

Damn, that's some impressive compost you have there. Love your cat Jack, he looks like a great gardening companion.

Unknown said...

Ah... yeah, that makes sense. You and Romie are smart. I am (unfortunately) more greedy than wise when it comes to fruit!

Peg Wiggins said...

So many cavity-nesting birds would love to make use of that apple tree in its declining years, rather than cutting it down.

Chickadees especially love to nest in old apple trees.

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